Looking for People and Answers
Candidate for presidency of Costa Rica.
I feel compelled to write this letter to you. It is about my son, Brendan Dobbins, who went missing from a beach bar in Tamarindo in March 2005. Brendan was a student here in Melbourne and was studying at the University of Florida in the USA with four other Australian students. They all went to Costa Rica for their spring break. They were in Costa Rica to have fun. They were not a threat to Costa Rican security, nor were they there to break any laws of the country.
A local man named Rolando Calvo joined them at their table. This was the last person to see Brendan alive. At the time of Brendan's disappearance there were lots of rumours, different theories and different scenarios, which has to be expected when someone goes missing. The OIJ did their investigation and everything came up blank. The conclusion was an undetermined
death. His skeletal remains were found in a mangove swamp approximately 3 kilometers from Tamarindo beach in June 2005.
Part of me died that year, probably the best part. Because as a parent you expect to pre-decease your child. It is a daily struggle. The void will be with me for the rest of my life. I don't want Brendan to be remembered as a homicide statistic or a victim of circumstances. A very evil deed was committed, but for evil to exist is for good men to see and do nothing. I know that tragedies like ours can happen anywhere in the world. But when you set yourself up as a tourist destination, as Costa Rica has, you have a duty of care.
The Australian government has just replied to my Freedom of Information request about what happened to Brendan. As part of the response to my request they sent me over 60 photographs of Brendan's skeletal remains which I found, as you can well imagine, very distressing. I have enclosed one of these photographs in my letter. All the photographs I have of Brendan, taken during his short lifetime, have been overshadowed by the images of his scattered bones in a mangrove swamp in Tamarindo, imprinted on my mind forever. If in any way I can prevent this sort of distress to another family, then I hope this letter won't be in vain.
Thank you for reading my letter. I hope you may have the influence to prevent another family suffering the pain we have had to endure.
I wish you well with the upcoming election. But do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows. It is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.
1. Who was Brendan
2. Photograph of Brendan, age 24 years3. Photograph of Brendan's skeletal remains